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[368] amid “all the currents of a heady fight,” to take advantage of any mistake made by the enemy, to repair the mischances and disasters in his own ranks, requires a man of no common capacity; but yet higher powers are demanded of him who at the head of a great army executes a series of movements, extending over several weeks perhaps, which finally compel an adversary to give battle at a point and under conditions which insure his defeat. The superiority of the Archduke Charles in this the most intellectual part of his profession has given him the second place on the roll of honor of the great generals in the wars of the French Revolution.

But General McClellan has shown great moral qualities in his, career of public service, which are elements of what may be called character, in distinction from pure intellectual force. The spotless purity of his private life has never been called in question. The rancor of partisan or personal malignity has never accused him of pecuniary corruption, of rapacity, of turning his official opportunities to his own gain or the gain of others. No swarm of unworthy favorites or needy dependants has ever buzzed around him. His record is without a blot; his hands are without a stain. His name has never been mixed up with disreputable or doubtful transactions. The charges against him are aimed at him solely in his military capacity. And this is not merely negative praise. The life of a soldier is a life of moral danger and exposures, as well as physical; and only the noblest and purest natures

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George B. McClellan (1)
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